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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Under the watchful eyes of many West Virginia manufacturers, the Senate has approved legislation to provide relief to all West Virginians who pay vehicle taxes plus retailers and manufacturers

The Senate approved Senate Bill 837 by a vote of 17-16. The billwill remove personal property taxes from personal automobiles, retail inventories and manufacturing inventory, machinery and equipment. 

Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, spoke passionately in favor of the bill several times during a long floor debate and assured the primary stakeholders – counties, cities and school boards – that this tax reform plan will make sure they continue to receive the revenues they need to serve their communities.

As someone who grew up in West Virginia and been here all my life, it is encouraging to see the evolution of our state and communities. The reinvention of small towns who adapt to a change in the industrial landscape is inspiring. West Virginia has always been a state of neighbors helping neighbors, and I’m filled with pride when I see signs proudly stating, “All are welcome!”

That message doesn’t really apply to everyone, unfortunately, or so I’m learning. 

An amendment offered by Senator Mike Romano, a Democrat in the 12th district, attempted to eliminate much needed relief for our state’s manufacturers. The Senator indicated that business tax relief would go outside of West Virginia. He forgets the number of small manufacturers that struggle in our state to survive every single day and neglects to acknowledge that small business like mine rely on other, sometimes larger businesses, as consumers of the products we manufacturer. 

Headshot KH 1CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Manufacturers Association is proud to announce that Kristen Harrison is joining the organization as its new communications director.

Harrison, a lifelong resident of West Virginia, brings a decade of experience in legal research and communications to the WVMA. 

“Kristen understands the importance of creating a vibrant and diverse economy in our state and the important role of the manufacturing industry in West Virginia,” said WVMA President Rebecca McPhail. “She has a strong belief that young professionals should invest their time and energy in their communities to ensure a brighter future for the Mountain State. We are delighted to have her on the WVMA team as we work on behalf of the state’s manufacturers.”  

A native of Charleston, W.Va., Harrison comes to the WVMA after working at Spilman Thomas & Battle, where she served in the firm’s corporate department as a project manager, overseeing energy and real estate projects. She previously served as special assistant to the chairman of the Public Service Commission. 

“We have indicated our support to the West Virginia Manufacturers Association to be with them on their attempt to get that constitutional amendment on the ballot and let the voters of West Virginia make that decision,” he said. “We are not heavily impacted — there are some small fees associated with gas storage, but other than that there’s not too much that we are impacted by.”